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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

PU polls: Tie-ups work for parties in colleges

Besides alliances, independent candidates also clinch presidential posts in five colleges

chandigarh Updated: Sep 07, 2019 00:58 IST
Srishti Jaswal
Srishti Jaswal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Panjab University Student Union alliance presidential candidate Gurjinder Singh celebrating his victory with his supporters at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, in Chandigarh on Friday.
Panjab University Student Union alliance presidential candidate Gurjinder Singh celebrating his victory with his supporters at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, in Chandigarh on Friday.(Anil Dayal/HT)
         

Keeping up with the usual trend, the results of student council elections at the 11 Panjab University-affiliated colleges were a win some lose some deal, with five alliances winning the majority in the respective colleges. While the PU campus saw a fierce competition between student outfits affiliated to the national political parties, in colleges, campus-grown student parties rose to prominence this time.

While PUSU alliance candidate Gurjinder Singh won the student council president post at the Post Graduate Government College (PGGC), Sector 11, SOPU alliance candidate Nitish won at PGGC, Sector 46. At Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma (GGDSD) College, Sector 32, Sahil Hartala of Sanatan Dharma College Union (SDCU) won the presidential post. At Sri Guru Gobind Singh (SGGS) College, Sector 26, Anmol Singh of ABVP alliance became the council president, while at DAV College, Sector 10, Lakshit of HSA alliance secured a win.

Polling was conducted peacefully this year with no incident of violence, while city’s co-educational colleges remained dull and women colleges stayed abuzz with drama.

WOMAN PRESIDENT AT GGDSD STILL A DREAM

Although a stunning participation was witnessed in women colleges of the city, the first time nominated woman candidate from the Student Organisation of India (SOI) Jahanvie Saini for the presidential post in GGDSD College failed to clinch the crown, as her tally of 728 votes paled in front of SDCU’s Sahil Hartala’s 1,423 votes.

Muskan Malhotra, a student of GGDSD College said, “Jahanvie was a strong and deserving candidate but perhaps our college is not ready to elect a woman president yet.”

It was last year when history was made at PGGC-46, where Anuja Sandhu of the ABVP was chosen as the woman president, a first at a co-educational college.

PARTICIPATION UP 

The elections this year saw maximum participation of girls in student politics at colleges. Until last year, only one or two girls contested for the presidential post at Mehr Chand Mahajan Dayanand Anglo Vedic (MCMDAV) College for Women, Sector 36, but this year, eight girls were in fray. Similar was the case with Guru Gobind Singh College for Women (GGSCW), Sector 26, and Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, where four girls were fighting for the post of president. The turnout, however, remained low — 24% at MCMDAV, 20% at PGGCG-11, 35% at GGSCW, and 63% at Dev Samaj College.

AT MCMDAV, PREZ NOMINEES DECRY JUST HR-LONG VOTING

Seven out of the eight presidential candidates protested for an hour against MCMDAV College for Women, Sector 36, for giving students just an hour to cast their vote on Friday.

One of the candidates, Jagravi, who got 255 votes against the winning candidate Chavvi’s 321, said, “The college allowed voting only for an hour in the morning during which only hostellers could come and vote. What are the odds that the candidate who won is also a hosteller?”

This year only 1,306 students voted out of 5,400 at the college. At 24%, the polling percentage was the lowest among city colleges. In fact, the turnout was the lowest at 15% last year as well.  

College principal Nisha Bhargava said, “The students were told about the duration of voting in advance. If they had any issues with it, they should have contacted us earlier during the objection period.”

“We had constituted a team of senior teachers for voting as well as counting. The polls were fair and transparent. I will ensure three hours are given for voting next year,” said Bhargava.